15:40 Wednesday 29 January 2014

Burton MP promotes blind football with Parliament penalty shoot-out

Written byMATTHEW COBB

POLITICIANS have taken part in a penalty shoot-out hosted by Burton and Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths yesterday (January 28) to celebrate the launch of The FA Disability Football Development Fund 2014 – 2017.

A goal was set up on Speaker’s Green outside the Houses of Parliament and Mr. Griffiths invited his peers to try and score a spot-kick past players from the England men’s blind football team.

Mr. Griffiths told the Mail: “We had players and coaches from the England blind football team taking part. I invited other MP’s to come along.

“They had to wear blindfolds and take penalties against some of the players. The ball they use has a bell in so they know where it is.

“The Disability Minister Mike Penning was there. Four of us scored and I’m happy to say I was one of them!”

Disability football is the most played disabled sport in the UK and is also ranked seventh of all team sports in England with around 115,000 taking part every week.

On February 27 the England blind football team will be taking on Turkey at St. George’s Park in Burton and Mr. Griffiths said that his penalty shoot-out was held to coincide with the match.

He said: “I’m in regular contact with the FA because St. George’s Park is in my constituency and I do quite a lot of work with them.

He also stated that he has plans to raise the profile of St. George’s Park further among MP’s and even bring some of them to Burton. He said: “We have a parliament football team, Ed Balls is one of those that plays, and my next plan is to hopefully bring them to St. George’s Park for a game.”

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